Maritime Expert Hails Customs Chief

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A Lagos base maritime expert, Prince Olusegun Ologbese has lauded the steps taken by the new Customs Area Controller (CAC), Tin Can Island Port Command, Apapa, Lagos, Comptroller Musa Baba Abdullahi to reposition the command.

Abdullahi’s appointment followed the deployment of the erstwhile CAC of Tin Can Island Command, Comptroller Yusuf Bashir to Customs Headquarters, Abuja.

Besides his meeting with some stakeholders in the maritime industry, Abdullahi has taken steps to ensure that the strides made by his predecessor were not eroded.
Ologbese who is also the life patron of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ondo/Ekiti States Councils said the visit of Abdullahi to the Commissioner of Police, Western Ports Command, Mr. Celestine Okoye was a step in the right direction.

Speaking with THISDAY in Lagos, Ologbese who is also the Managing Director of Ogbese International Limited explained that apart from providing opportunities for rubbing minds, the visit will enable the agencies operating in the nation’s seaports to share intelligence for better performance.
According to him, seeking inter-agency collaboration and synergy was not only a welcome development but the path to follow since no man is an island.

Going down memory lane, the maritime expert said at the beginning of the port operations decades ago, the Nigeria Customs Service was the one carrying the responsibilities of other security agencies in the nation’s seaports.

“Gradually, the Nigerian Police and other government agencies spring up in the port and they have been working in co-operation with several other organisations to secure the port as well as protecting life and properties. Although, the Acts of Parliament that created each security agency in Nigeria stipulated and analysed each individual duties like it is overseas, these agencies have their respective roles and responsibilities. For instance, our Nigeria Immigration Service knows their roles and responsibilities. This is also applicable to the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), and the National Quarantine Service (NQS)”, he said.

The maritime expert argued that it was the inter-agencies collaboration that was instrumental for the discovery of contraband, especially the rifles imported from Turkey shipped into Nigeria through Tin Can Island Port Complex last year.

Abdullahi in his first public outing penultimate Wednesday said he has set a target for himself in the discharge of his statutory roles and responsibilities.

He revealed that the command was given a target of N364 billion for revenue collection even as he disclosed that the command had already generated N62 billion.

The Customs Chief assured that under his watch, the command would block all revenue leakages, collect appropriate duties and meet its target for the year as mandated by Ali in his charge to officers and men of the NCS.

According to him, the command under his supervision would through trade facilitation and ease of doing business initiative of the federal government ensures that no item in the Import Prohibition List (IPL) is allowed into the country under any guise. This is also applicable to the Export Prohibition List (EPL).